Gardeners have argued for years about whether fothergilla should be known as a spectacular spring shrub or as an overlooked beauty for fall. Although we say that it is both, the new Legend of the Fall® may swing things to the autumn side. This variety was bred specifically to have exceptional fall color. As the weather begins to cool, the small oval leaves take on hues of yellow, orange, red, and even deep purple. Eventually all the foliage turns dark burgundy before dropping from the shrub completely. Once spring hits the next year, expect the same bright green leaves and fragrant white bottlebrush blossoms you’ve come to love with other fothergilla.
Legend of the Fall® fothergilla (Fothergilla × intermedia ‘Alice’)
Size: 4 to 5 feet tall and wide
Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil
Native range: Southeastern United States
• Sooner Plant Farm, Park Hill, OK; 918-453-0771; soonerplantfarm.com